Blogs in this series

Life in Culebrón is a disconnected series of pieces about the banal and ordinary of everyday life in an inland Alicante village seen from my very British perspective.

Friday, July 29, 2016

Spanish stereotypes

In the last post about Albacete I mentioned an exercise I use with my students as a conversation starter. It's not my piece, I took it from a Spanish source and translated it into English.

I disagree with a couple of them, I don't whoeheartedly agree with lots of them and I don't actually know what a couple are getting at. But it's an easy post and I rather suspect that at least one of my readers - that sounds posh doesn't it? - will have a response.

Spain: bulls, guitars and flouncy skirts

This is how tourist guides, written in France, Italy, Germany, the United Kingdom, Japan and Russia describe Spain. The old image of bulls and castanets may have disappeared but are these new generalisations any more accurate?

What do you think?

1 Spain is the European country where the fewest number of newspapers are read and where the most popular newspaper deals only with sport.

2 Spain is a desert for vegetarians and a place where ham is considered to be part of a vegetarian diet.

3 Spain isn't all sun but then again everything is conditioned by the sun.

4 It's the place where breakfast in a bar includes a shot of the hard stuff alongside a coffee.

5 Spain is a country where almost nobody gets drunk in public.

6 Where chocolate is sweet and thick.

7 In Spain body hair on women, particularly underarm or on the legs, is socially unacceptable.

8 Where everything, or almost everything, closes down for the afternoon.

9 Where people parade from bar to bar greeting friends and eating tapas before having dinner.

10 RENFE trains are clean and efficient.

11 Where pedestrians are terrorised by motorists at every junction and every zebra crossing.

12 Where life begins as the rest of Europe dons its pyjamas.

13 Where restaurants still sell a bottle of drinkable plonk for 5€.

14 Where crossing yourself and calling on God is still an everyday part of many transactions.

15 It may be Europe but Spaniards aren't Europeans.

16 Where the toilets are clean but never have toilet paper.

17 A country where it's dangerous to get involved in chit chat.

18 Where everyone is criticised - except for the King.

19 A country whose past is marked by hunger and famine.

20 A country that has no cuisine to speak of.


Matthew Hirtes said...

Just about more true than false but vehemently disagree with 1, 5, 8, 15, 16, 18, and 20.

DaveG said...

As you say, we're dealing with people's perceptions, a bit of stereotyping and possibly some irony too. I'm willing to bet it gets the discussion going though...